Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

Many are called, but few deliver. And, I got very wet!

This is not about being called up in wartime. It’s far less sinister and definitely nothing to be frightened about.
What is it? Simple: it’s a review of my ebook, My Thai Eye, and the reviewer – who shall remain anonymous, no it isn’t me – is a respected author of crime novels set in Asia. I thank him for the honest review, and post it here because it encapsulates so well, some of my feelings about Thailand.
Here it is …….

There’s something about Thailand that causes hordes of otherwise perfectly sensible people to decide, whatever their role in life has been up to the time they discover that odd little country, that they are really writers. That wouldn’t be such a worry, but then most of these folks actually go out commit their every thought about the place to paper for the rest of us to read.

The sad result is that most of the sort of stuff that gets published about Thailand is — let’s face it — a serious squandering of dead trees. But every now and then somebody comes along who delivers a collection of writings that are actually worth reading. One of those collections is MY THAI EYE.

In this modest volume, Mr. Tipple delivers a congenial ramble through the oddities and wonders of a delightful little country better known for massage parlors and sex tourism than much of anything else. And that’s a shame. Read MY THAI EYE and you’ll know, and understand, more about Thailand than a good slice of the foreigner who visit there. And you will have had a darn good time learning about it, too.

You can find this on, should you not believe me – an author telling lies. Come on!

It couldn’t have come at a happier time, for today is Songkran: the Thai New Year, in the middle of one of Thailand’s hottest months.  And Songkran – the water festival – highlights so many Thai juxtapositions, which make it so interesting a country. Songkran has changed a lot from its origin. Respect to your elders shown by placing small drops of water, scented with flower petals, about their shoulders still goes on.

But today, the ‘baptism’ of water is … well, it’s huge. It is impossible to walk along the street without being drenched by Thais chucking water over you – often near freezing – from the backs of passing pick-up trucks. They are happy, it’s just the way Thais are. And you are happy too, because you get to cool down, a little.

I have to say, its been one of our happiest days here. It’s so good humoured, and for that reason alone, is unlikely to be replicated in the western world.

And the juxtapositions? There are too many for this short blog, but here’s two …

  • last year over 2,000 died on the roads. Already there are rumours that a third of that figure has been reached!
  • And in Hua Hin, the water supply is almost dried up. What better way to use what’s left.

A DI Crosier murder mystery – win a free copy

When Railway Detective Inspector Crosier finished his work for the day – not that DI’s are ever really off duty – he would often drop in at the Crewe Arms Hotel, for a tipple – yes, I’ve heard them all before. On his way he’d stop to admire the view from the road bridge over Crewe station, especially if there was a steam train on the move.

Straight ahead, you can see the West Coast Main Line route to Scotland. Crosier will have to travel this line a few times, taking with him his attractive assistant Sergeant Claire Cardin, of course and who really fancies him, in his search for the killers.

If he’d slipped out for a late lunch on a summer Saturday, he may have bumped into the man who took this photograph, Mr Ben Brooksbank, and seen this train winding its way across the points to platform 6. It’s the 13.20 Llandudno Summer Saturday express returning to Derby, coming off the Chester line, headed by LMS ‘Jubilee’ 6P 4-6-0 No. 45700 ‘Amethyst’ piloting Stanier black 5 4-6-0 45026.

Crosier loved steam trains but as this picture taken on 19 July 1958 shows, you can see the masts are already being erected for electrification. The first service commenced to Manchester – the line to the right – 18 months later. Dozens of train-spotters crowd the end of Platform 4 – in the days when trains were interesting.

Now here is your chance to win a free copy of my murder mystery.

There’s a unique relationship between the Crewe Arms Hotel and Crewe railway station. I’m offering the first 3 people who sign up to my blog and post what it is, a free copy of my murder mystery novel. The novel is not available yet, but it will be worth your while waiting – well that’s what Crosier says. Follow this blog for further news and five more chances, over the coming months, to win a free copy.